My Friend: Have You Lost Your Hope?

July 29, 2014
Have you lost your hope? That's a strange question to ask faith people. However, I think many faith people have never really understood what real Bible hope is and how to use it.

First Corinthians 13:13 says, "And so faith, hope, love abide..." Faith, hope, and love are the three most powerful forces in the entire universe. Notice in that verse God elevates hope to the same level of importance as faith and love. Actually, hope is the foundation for faith and love; and without hope, faith and love cannot manifest.

God is a Creator, and He made man to be a creator. So, how does God create? We know from the Book of Genesis that He conceived, believed, and then spoke. Before God created anything, He conceived it. To conceive something is to create a mental image of what is to be formed. In that sense, the word conceive and hope are interchangeable. Keep reading, and I'll explain.

How do we create? The same way God did — conceive, believe, and speak. If you don't have a mental image of how you want things to be, you don't have the God-kind of hope. Hope is the place where you conceive a promise of God. The work of hope begins with a thought as we create a mental image of God's promise in our lives. If we hold on to that image, it will transform into a confident expectation of the fulfillment of that promise.

The God-kind of hope sees the promise of God on the inside, and eventually faith manifests it on the outside. The Bible says that faith is the substance of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1). Hope, therefore, sets the goal that faith then brings substance to.

Without hope, faith has nothing to which it can attach itself. If you don't have a confident expectation for something, there is nothing to which your faith can attach substance. Also, if your mental picture of God's promise changes from what God says to what the world says, the greatest faith won't accomplish anything. In other words, hope is like a blueprint, and you cannot continually change the blueprint while the Builder is at work bringing substance to the house. How can faith produce anything when the blueprint or picture keeps changing? (James 1:5-8)

This struggle takes place in the mind of every believer. That's because our mind is connected to our flesh — our eyes, ears, and all our senses. Our senses send information to our minds. Our minds will naturally focus on what our senses are saying, and that information is usually contrary to the promises of God. Our spirit is also connected to our mind. Our spirit is sending the Word of God to our mind and reinforcing the picture that hope has created there.

Second Corinthians 4:18 tells us where our focus should be: "While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (NKJ).

Hope must ignore the circumstances and instead focus on the picture of God's promises being fulfilled in our lives. We should never live our lives focused on circumstances. Contrary circumstances will always confront us, but we must hold on to the pictures of His promises. Hebrews 6:18-19 shows us two things that will help us hold on to the mental picture that hope creates:

This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us].[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [...a hope] that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of (His) Presence]. (AMP, emphasis added)

Through His promise and His oath we can have "mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement" to hold on to that mental picture. Remember, a promise is an unchangeable commitment that God has obligated Himself to fulfill. His oath is the covenant that He made with us through His Son Jesus. This hope then becomes an anchor to our soul, or mind, and this anchor reaches all the way into the security of His presence. When we have this kind of hope, we can see through and beyond the storms of life and hold on to the hope until our faith brings substance to the promise!

Romans 15:13 says that by the power of the Holy Spirit we can abound and overflow with this hope or confident expectation. People become hopeless when they only see with their natural eyes and no longer see the picture of God's promises being fulfilled in their lives. Through ignorance, neglect, or both, many will live a defeated and disappointing life. But we don't have to live like that anymore! We can use the creative power of hope and move higher in God. With the paintbrush of God's Word we can conceive, believe, and speak. And what we conceive — if we believe — we will receive!

What are you hoping for? What are you creating in your mind with God's Word? What do you want to see manifested in your life this year? Allow hope to create a mental image of that promise being fulfilled. And to help you accomplish this we will send you the complete teaching "Hope — Using God's Creative Power."

Now hope creates, and faith manifests, but faith without works doesn't work (James 2:17-21). Add works to your faith by sowing the right seed for your harvest (what you are expecting from God). Remember Luke 6:38 where Jesus said your measure of seed locks in your measure of harvest (tens produce tens, hundreds produce hundreds, and thousands produce thousands). Please also indicate what harvest you are earnestly expecting so we can add our faith and agreeing prayers. Your seed is helping bring the Word of God to the nations, especially the Muslim nations, and salvations are coming every day! Praise God! Thank you!

Your Praying Partner,

Dr. Nasir Siddiki